Video interviews have become common in the current hiring landscape. Not only are they more convenient and cost-effective for both candidates and employers, reducing the need for travel, but they can make it easier for hiring managers to make the right choice.

With the ability to review recordings, employers can carefully analyse each candidate before extending a job offer. According to Indeed, 82% of employers used virtual interviews in 2021, and 93% wanted to continue using them.

This means every HR candidate needs to be prepared to make the right impact on video. Learning how to handle the technical aspects, convey professionalism through your attire and body language, and respond effectively to questions is crucial.

Here’s how you can master video interviewing in 2024 and beyond.

 

First: Know the Video Interview Format

While video interviews in the HR space have been commonplace since the pandemic, the way these interviews are hosted and used is evolving. Companies are experimenting not just with live video interviews but also pre-recorded sessions.

In a live interview, the experience is similar to a face-to-face discussion. You speak to your panel or interviewer in real-time, responding to any questions asked.

In a recorded video interview, you’re presented with a selection of pre-written questions.

You then record yourself responding to these questions. In this scenario, you may have more opportunities to practice your answer and prepare what you will say before you respond.

In some cases, companies may also use a blended interview format, asking employees to submit a video bio, similar to a cover letter, before they engage in a live video session. Ensuring you’re prepared to handle all the different types of video interactions you’ll be presented with effectively is crucial to creating the right impression.

 

Mastering the Technical Aspects of Your Video Interview

Once you know what type of video interview you’re participating in, the first step is to familiarise yourself with the technology you’ll be using. 45% of recruiters believe video helps them speed up hiring.

The last thing they want is for your technical issues to lengthen the process. You will be told which platform you’ll use when you’re offered your interview.

Create an account with the platform (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc), and test the features beforehand. Ensure you know how to mute and unmute your microphone, start and end a video stream, and share your screen. You may also want to check whether you can change your background or record the video yourself (for later reference).

Other technical preparations to invest in include:

  • Audio and Video Setup: Invest in a quality webcam, microphone, or headset and connect them to your video conferencing platform. Check whether you can adjust the lighting and sound settings to improve your interviewer’s overall experience.
  • Internet connection: Ensure you’re conducting your HR interview in a setting with a strong and stable internet connection. A wired connection may offer better stability than a wireless alternative.
  • Conduct practice runs: Call friends or family members through the video platform to check for any potential technical glitches you might face.

 

Presenting Yourself Professionally

While most recruiters and hiring managers today are working to overcome unconscious bias, 96% still feel they make rapid decisions based on factors like how you present yourself in an interview.

Simple things, like how you dress, can offer hiring managers an insight into your level of professionalism and how serious you are about a role.

Just because you’re meeting over video from the comfort of your home doesn’t mean you should dress casually. Act like you would in any interview, and dress professionally.

  • Check your background: Ideally, you’ll choose a clean, clutter-free background for your interview. However, if you’re limited in the space to choose from, you may be able to use a professional-looking virtual background instead.
  • Maintain eye contact: Don’t look at yourself on screen during the interview or allow your eyes to wander. Maintaining eye contact by looking directly at the camera conveys attentiveness and confidence.
  • Mind your body language: Think carefully about your body language in any HR interview. Sit up straight and avoid slouching or fidgeting during the discussion.

It’s also helpful to arrange your video camera to ensure you capture the right amount of your body. Ideally, your full torso and face should be visible at all times.

 

Preparing your Video Bio

Suppose you’re participating in a process that includes a pre-recorded video interview or are asked to submit a video bio. In that case, ensuring you make the right impact immediately is important. The best way to accomplish this is with preparation.

The same practices apply here as you would research a company’s background and prepare responses to competency-based questions using the STAR method for a standard interview.

A good way to boost your chances of success is to draft a concise and compelling script based on your cover letter, CV, or the areas your recruiter has suggested. Highlight your key achievements, skills, and experiences relevant to the specific position you’re applying for.

 

Eliminating Distractions

Distractions are a common issue for video HR interviews. Unlike in a traditional interview, you’ll be situated in your own home, which means plenty of opportunities for other aspects of your life to get in the way.

Reduce your risk of interruptions and background noise by choosing a quiet and secluded space for the discussion. Inform anyone else in the house that you shouldn’t be disturbed during the interview, and close the door if you can.

Other ways to reduce your risk of distractions include:

  • Preparing for technical glitches: Glitches can still occur even if you have used all the tech before. Make sure you’re ready to switch to a different method of communication, such as a phone call if problems arise. Stay calm and composed when troubleshooting issues.
  • Addressing connectivity problems: If your internet connectivity drops during the interview, politely inform the interviewer and look for ways to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Apologize for any delays, even if the problem isn’t your fault.
  • Mute other distractions: Turn off notifications for your email account and other apps you might use on the same computer you’re using for your interview. Don’t open other tabs during the conversation; and silence your phone!

Attending the interview a few minutes early can also be helpful to ensure you’re fully prepared and check for any technical issues in advance.

 

Mastering Your Video Interviews This Year

You’ll likely encounter at least one type of video interview during your HR job search this year. Ensuring you’re prepared to make the right impression, whether it’s during a live interview or asynchronous conversation, is crucial to boosting your chances of getting the right job.

After any video interview, remember to review your performance, thinking about what you’ve done well and what issues you might need to address before your next interview. This will help you prepare more effectively for future conversations.

 

Tom Mornement

Managing Director

At Purple House Recruitment, we have been helping businesses with their talent acquisition and HR professionals find their ideal roles for over 21 years.  During that time we’ve placed over two and half thousand candidates and counting;

Get in touch to find out how we can help, call us at 0117 957 4100 or email us here.